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N2K Presidential Race

Court Rulings and Their Limitations



The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down three provisions in Arizona’s immigration law provided a nice opportunity for communications professionals and a political press corps well-schooled in minutiae and midrash to dry-run the political implications of complex legal reasoning.

That, of course, will all be out the window by the time the health care decision lands later this week, when blind, zero-sum analyses will either exalt or deplore President Obama’s health care expansion.

In both cases, what often goes unmentioned is that the political impact of the Supreme Court’s maneuvers has been vastly overstated. Most voters long ago made up their minds about health care and immigration policy, two complicated areas that sweep across traditional ideological barriers (the individual health insurance mandate was once championed by conservative groups, and some of the nation’s leading conservative voices outflank some Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform).

Ultimately, the rulings of the nine folks in the black robes won’t have much bearing on that.

--Jim O’Sullivan


High Court Upholds ‘Show Me Your Papers’; Hands Obama a Win
[National Journal, 6/25/12] National Journal’s Fawn Johnson writes that the Supreme Court gave Arizona permission to do what local police officers all over the country already do—check with federal officials about a questionable person’s legal status. President Obama said in a statement that he is "pleased but concerned" with the decision. 


Four States Could Be Election Game-Changers NEW!
[Wall Street Journal, 6/25/12] A group of four states, deemed "the game-changers" by the Wall Street Journal's Gerald F. Seib, are reliably blue states but Romney's campaign thinks they have a chance winning them. A Republican win in any of these states- Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania- would change the calculus of winning the Electoral College.

‘A Hugely Consequential Week’
[Politico, 6/24/12] President Obama is in for a big week: SCOTUS will rule on his 2010 health care law as well as Arizona’s controversial immigration law; Congress will confront student-loan rates and highway funding; and the House could vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

Poll: Latinos Strongly Backing Obama NEW!
 [USA Today, 6/25/12] Obama leads Romney 66%-25% among more than 1,000 Latino registered voters surveyed April 16 to May 31, according to an USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. Romney comes out weakest among Latinos of any presidential candidate since 1996.


Halperin Claims Any SCOTUS Ruling on Health Care Is Bad for Obama
[BuzzFeed, 6/25/12] On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Time’s Mark Halperin said that no matter what the Supreme Court decides on health care reform, the president will lose politically. The bill is unpopular, but no one likes a loser.

Romney Youth Outreach Team Run By 30-Somethings NEW!
 [TPM, 6/25/12] The Romney campaign launched Young Americans for Romney on Monday, a group that will "work with prominent young leaders from across the country to help spread the message about why Mitt Romney is the best choice for America's future," according to the campaign. This group is part of the campaign's effort to reach out to young people.

Obama Ad Pushes Back on ‘Doing Fine’ Attacks 
[Huffington Post, 6/25/12] The Obama camp has released a new, unannounced ad in several battleground states that rebuts attacks against the president for his much-maligned statement that the private sector is “doing fine.”

For Obama, Supreme Court Health Care, Immigration Rulings Close a Tough Term
[Washington Post, 6/24/12] In a string of cases over the last three and a half years—on issues from the government’s relationships with Indian tribes to the enforcement of the Clean Water Act—the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s legal arguments with lopsided votes and sometimes biting commentary.


Will Immigration Decision Fuel Latino Turnout?
[National Journal, 6/25/12] Even as Democrats have had little else to celebrate in June, the president appears to be on solid political footing with regards to immigration, National Journal's Naureen Khan writes. Now, the Obama campaign has a powerful case to make when they paint a picture for Latinos about what life under a Republican administration could look like.

Events in Capital May Shape Rest of Race NEW!
[Associated Press, 6/25/12] Various events - the Supreme Court's ruling on Obama's health care law, the House's contempt vote, the transportation bill, Obama's student-loan rates proposal - are looming over the race for president and causing anxiety for the two camps.

Obama Mocks Romney on 'Outsourcing' vs. 'Offshoring'
[The Hill, 6/25/12] Obama mocked the Romney campaign in a campaign speech on Monday for pointing to differences between "outsourcing" and "offshoring" American jobs. After last week's report of Bain Capital investing in companies that specialize in outsourcing jobs, Obama called Romney "an outsourcing pioneer."

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Republicans Slam Obama on Immigration
[National Journal, 6/24/12] Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s advisers on Sunday slammed Obama’s recent executive order on immigration as a “short-term solution” that “plays with Hispanics.” But the Romney surrogates were vague on alternative policies.

Obama Actively Courting Hispanics
[Roll Call, 6/25/12] The Supreme Court’s Arizona decision will ramp up the spotlight on an issue Republicans would like to see go away: illegal immigration. The case gives Democrats a chance to highlight the importance of court appointments, and either ruling would benefit Obama.

Seeing an Obama Army in Gay Pride Legions
[New York Times, 6/24/12] While gay men and lesbians have been one of the most reliable Democratic voting blocs, the Obama campaign is now capitalizing on what its strategists say is a perfect election-year opportunity: converting enthusiasm for Obama’s declaration of support for gay marriage into more than just votes.

New Polls: Obama, Romney in Dead Heat in Michigan
[Detroit Free Press, 6/25/12] Back in February, the Great Lakes State still registered as reliably blue, with polls suggesting it could be counted on as an easy victory for Democrats in the fall. But a handful of fresh polls indicate Michigan is a dead heat between Obama and Michigan native Romney.

Southeast Ohio Has Become an Important Battleground
[Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/24/12] In a state that remains a key battleground but hasn’t backed a Republican in 40 years, Obama in 2008 won counties in Southeast Ohio by very slim margins. This area has become a microcosm of the struggle Obama has long faced with white working-class voters.

Pennsylvania GOP Leader: Voter ID Will Help Romney Win State NEW!
[Talking Points Memo, 6/25/12] Mike Turzai, R- Penn., said that the voter ID law would help Romney win Pennsylvania in November. “He was simply referencing that for the first time in a long while, the Republican presidential candidate will be on a more even keel thanks to voter ID," said a spokesman for Turzai.


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